OK, since Amazon now has this policy of publishing reviews to similar items as though they were for the specific items (beware of this when you read reviews! Read the fine print at the top of the review!), I hope this appears for all of these similar espresso makers, regardless of brand, because it works in all of them.
I've owned several of these, different brands and different sizes, and have been somewhat underwhelmed with their performance. "Emergency coffee" is what I used mine for. So one day I was at my son's house and he made me this incredible dry cappuccino. I immediately went to his kitchen to see what kind of machine he had bought, and was blown away when he showed me his old, beat-up and stained "6-cup" espresso maker, just like the ones in these reviews. I asked him how he managed to get that kind of performance out of this thing and he said the secret is in ignoring the published instructions and pretty much doing the opposite of what they suggest. Here's his instructions:
1. Grind your coffee to espresso fine. If you don't have a burr grinder capable of this, buy your coffee in small quantities and have them grind it for you.
2. Fill the coffee holder to a bit over-the-top and then tamp it lightly. A shot-glass or anything else that fits into the holder will do.
3. Then proceed as normal: fill the boiler to the brass safety valve with cold, filtered water, screw on the top, and put it on the stove.
4. Leave the lid open so you can watch what's going on, allow the coffee to flow until it starts bubbling a bit but not so long that it will boil!
5. Pour off the most amazing cup you've ever experienced from your Primula (or similar) espresso maker!
I now use the Primula more often than my $500 Gaggia machine. Less fuss and just about as good. Not better, but just about as good, and that's pretty darned good.